How many years until General Direct Dialed telephony dies?

Discuss.

As I'd posted this poll a week or so back, general direct-dialed telephony, a/k/a PSTN (public switched telephone networks) seem to be in trouble. I think we could be within five years of their total collapse. And no, not just land lines (already about 25% of their peak in much of the US), but _all_ direct-dialed phones: mobile and VOIP included.

The problem, as I'd written before, is paradoxically the _low_ cost of calls. This is inducing tremendous volumes of junk calls, with one ...

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When the telephone was first introduced, and as it expanded through the 1950s and 60s, it was, as Facebook in the oughts, an aspirational instrument. Truman beat Dewey, but pollsters, relying on wealthy- and Republican-skewed polling, got the race wrong.

High-toll long distance made long-range romance expensive (and drove a younger me to the campus Unix server for 'talk' sessions with a certain someone), but also made low-level scams and fraud unprofitable. "Voicemail" used to be ...

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